I will be honest that I did not join the military hoping to go to war. I am thankful I did not have to. Some of my “battle buddies” wanted to deploy and retire. I just wanted to serve and leave. While I left the military with physical injuries, others left with both physical and unseen wounds.
As we celebrate veterans in the U.S., I would like to encourage you to honor veterans by doing these two important things as often as possible:
Pray: I believe praying is one of the ways to honor veterans. In the process of fighting for global and national freedom, some war veterans have become mental prisoners of war. Regardless of our views on military service and war, we ought to pray . We should not discriminate in our prayers. Veteran suicide rate in the U.S. is alarming. According to the U.S. Veterans Affairs, “In 2017, the suicide rate for Veterans was 1.5 times the rate for non-Veteran adults, after adjusting for population differences in age and sex.” You can read more about veteran suicide prevention Here.
As a Christian, I believe Jesus is the healer of broken hearts and wounded souls. He can take away those tormenting memories, shame, and guilt that contribute to suicidal thoughts and suicide. I am glad my local church honors veterans by praying for them and blessing them materially, please encourage your local church to do the same.
Pray for their families. Many veterans end up separating from and later divorcing their spouses due to unseen wounds and difficulty transitioning from military to civilian life. Pray that God will heal the hearts of families affected.
After separation from the military, veterans are prone to become depressed due to uncertainty about their future. You can start by asking God to reveal himself to veterans in your neighborhood, that they will come to know the love of Christ.
Thank them for their service: War veterans are not hard to find these days. Most of them have overcome the shame associated with serving. They put on hats that show where and when they served. Please express your gratitude for their service if possible. Some have license plates indicating their veteran status. You can leave a Thank You note. Some organizations provide food for homeless veterans, you can find one near you via Google. When war veterans were on the battlefield, I am sure they believed they were fighting for freedom and some of them truly did. Let’s appreciate them and set aside negative opinions. Let’s see through the eyes of love.
Remember, a military veteran is someone’s mother, father, brother, sister, child, and friend.
Thank you for reading and praying for veterans all over the world. God bless you!
PS: Fellow veterans in the U.S., here is a comprehensive list of veterans day discounts and Free meals published by the VA 😉 Enjoy!